Roe Junction Missionary Baptist Church, located at 2140 Sulphur Springs Road in Morristown, will celebrate its 100th Anniversary on Sunday, Aug. 16. Sunday School is at 10 a.m. and worship at 11 a.m.
Prior to the organization of a church in the Roe Junction community, revivals were held in the Roe Junction Schoolhouse with the converts being baptized into the fellowship of the nearby First Baptist Church in Morristown. After World War I, hard times had affected the country similar to the depression of the 1930s, but the number of Christians in the community continued to grow. They realized that through faith, prayer, sacrifice and putting forth an effort, they would have a church in their community.
Roe Junction Missionary Baptist Church was organized on Aug. 8, 1920. The organizational council was composed of the Rev. D. L. Manis, moderator, Brother Charles S. Stephens, clerk and Bro. Conley Collins.
The Articles of Faith and the Church Covenant found in the Pendleton’s Church Manual were adopted. There were eleven charter members coming from the First Baptist Church in Morristown: Alice Amos, Nora Mae Amos, Nella Bolton, Pearl Brady, Ada Burchett, Vada Burchett, Arthur Harville, Andrew Moore, Lida Moore, Neeles Moore and Vesta Moore. The last charter member, Pearl Brady Hayes, passed away on March 11, 2014, at the age of 107.
Bro. Arthur Harville was elected as the first deacon; the Rev. J. Thomas Hopkins was the first pastor. Sister Alice Amos was the first church clerk. Bros. Arthur Harville and Lida Moore were elected as the first messengers to the Nolachucky Baptist Association.
Sarah Woods Moore (Mrs. Lida Moore) was elected church clerk in Dec., 1925 and served for 50 consecutive years, until July 25, 1976.
On July 18, 1921, Bro. Andrew Moore and family donated the lot on which to build the church. Records indicate that work started on the building in November 1921 and was completed in July 1922.
On June 28, 1948, a motion was made to tear down the old church building and rebuild a new one using as much of the materials from the old building as possible.
Mr. and Mrs. John (Pearl Brady) Hayes had purchased the old Roe Junction Schoolhouse, remodeled it and were using it as their family residence. At their invitation, the Roe Junction Baptist Church again used this building for their services until their second church building was completed.
Additional property has been purchased and additions and renovations made periodically over the past 99 years to meet the growing needs of the church.
It has grown from a small church without electricity or restrooms to a beautiful brick church with Sunday School rooms, a baptistery and a large fellowship hall.
A cemetery was located behind the church in 1981. In 1999 a new sanctuary was built with a seating capacity of 300.
The first service was held in the new sanctuary on our 5th Saturday night singing, May 29, 1999.
The first Vacation Bible School was held in June with 27 professions of faith.
The current membership is 383.
The current pastor is Rev. Jason Lemka.
The deacons of the church are Louie Spradling (chairman) and John Turner. Jake Anderson will be ordained in November. Louie Spradling is the Sunday School Superintendent and John Turner is the church clerk/treasurer.
With this year being the 100 year Anniversary, the church is celebrating “100 years Serving the Lord 1920-2020” Special events are planned from the homecoming in August 2019 until homecoming August 16, 2020.
Monthly recognitions were made such as years of membership, with Jean Horner (daughter of charter member Lida Moore) being the longest active member with 73 years. Many other recognitions were made throughout the year leading up to the very special 100th homecoming.
On March 29, 2020 lightning struck the church steeple and the church was destroyed by fire. As the church rises from the ashes and continue serving the Lord, the congregation is worshipping together in the fellowship hall until the new church is completed.